12 August 2021

New ACR guidelines for covid vax in rheuma patients

ACR COVID-19 Medications

Differences between ACR and ARA recommendations on DMARD use remain unchanged.

As more data emerges on vaccination response and infection risk for immunosuppressed patients, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) continues to update its guidelines for covid vaccination in patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease, with the third version published on 4 August.

The ACR taskforce again acknowledged “a paucity of direct evidence” on immune responses to vaccination among autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic disease patients receiving immunomodulatory therapies, and placed “great importance on prioritizing this topic as part of a future research.”

Australian Rheumatology Association director Dr Samuel Whittle, based at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, said: “There are some differences between the ACR recommendations on the use of DMARDs at the time of vaccination and our Australian guidance, but these have not changed with the newest version.”

“We, of course, recommend that Australian clinicians refer to the Australian living guideline rather than the ACR guidance,” Dr Whittle said, “as there are differences between the countries in terms of the health care system, the specific vaccines that are available, community transmission of covid, the use of physical precautions, government policies and access to vaccination.”